Nov 22 AT 1:49 PM Taylor Wimberly 11 Comments

NVIDIA first with Android 4.0 tablet, Qualcomm demos dev tablet with Android 2.3

Transformer Prime

Last week two companies demonstrated their next-generation mobile processors inside upcoming devices and we noticed quite the interesting contrast. NVIDIA showed off their Tegra 3 processor inside the ASUS Transformer Prime running Android 4.0 and Qualcomm unveiled their Snapdragon S4 Liquid development platform running Android 2.3.

As a lover of all things mobile, I was excited with both showings. However I’m not sure if I’m more impressed with NVIDIA’s software team getting Android 4.0 up and running only two days after the source code was released or more confused with Qualcomm deciding to demo the year-old Android 2.3.

First we had Qualcomm’s Raj Talluri pay a visit to The Engadget Show where he announced the Snapdragon S4 Liquid development platform. This device boasted some impressive hardware specs like a 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 (16:9)  display, 13 MP rear-facing camera and 2 MP front-facing camera (both capable of 1080p30 video capture), 2 GB of 400MHz LPDDR2 RAM, fingerprint scanner, and integrated LTE modem.

However, the Liquid was still running Android 2.3 instead of 3.x or 4.0 that are optimized for tablets. We know that Qualcomm already had access to the Android 3.x source code because their partner HTC released the Jetstream tablet earlier this year. My guess is Qualcomm chose to show Android 2.3 on their new tablet because they already had it working on their Snapdragon S4 development phones we saw last month.

Qualcomm Liquid

Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 development platform "Liquid"

Next we had NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang take the stage at UBS Global Technology and Services Conference, where he showed off the Transformer Prime running Android 4.0. This took place on November 17th, but NVIDIA recently shared a video of the Transformer Prime running Android 4.0 that they claim was recorded on November 16th (the same day as The Engadget Show).

Jen-Hsun Huang told the audience that his team had the advantage when it comes to tablets with Android 4.0. “My prediction is this will be your first demonstration of Ice Cream Sandwich for some time. Our goal is to get Ice Cream Sandwich to production this year and I would be very, very surprised if any other tablets were to reach market with ICS before us.”

With the Transformer Prime already up for pre-order, it looks like his prediction will come true. Qualcomm expects they will have Ice Cream Sandwich up and running in early 2012, so they shouldn’t be far behind.

Qualcomm is an absolute giant in the mobile industry and NVIDIA is still the new kid on the block, so it’s always exciting to watch these two companies try to one up each other. In the long run it probably doesn’t matter who was the first to market with an Android 4.0 tablet, but it might come with some small advantages. We have seen that Qualcomm is starting to emulate NVIDIA’s mobile strategy (see Snapdragon GameCommand), so they must be doing something right.

When it comes to your next Android tablet, does the mobile processor found inside affect your purchase decision? Or does price remain the number one factor?

Via: Engadget

Source: NVIDIA

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Nate B.

    I would get the Transformer Prime but I’m curious to know what 2012 tablets will bring as far as spec wise, Samsung specifically. I know either way I can’t be wrong with the Prime.

    • Nate B.

      Oh, & i know you’ve all been told this countless times already but your mobile and desktop layout is awesome. Clean, simple, and unique.

      • Angie Wimberly

        Don’t really get tired of hearing it, though. Thank you :)

        • Nate B.

          You welcome very much. Also, Android and Me is my favorite mobile site.

  • MarkT

    For such a quick turnaround on ICS the Tegra 3 looks amazingly responsive.

  • charliethesuperturtle

    Dude this site is so neat good Job!

  • Dirge

    You know what kind of has me bummed? That Tegra 3,while having a powerful CPU, still doesn’t have a GPU more powerful than the GPU in the iPad 2(according to what I’ve read).

  • Perry

    As I said on the “NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang: Tegra 3 tablets will be $299 in a few quarters” article, pricing is not as important as my next tablet being a “laptop killer” – such as an upgraded version of the Asus Slider.

    Adding IP67 certification would allow me to bring the unmodified device outdoors when traveling or hiking (huge bonus) and ensure laptop-like durability (5+ years). Replaceable battery could/would be an issue though, as nobody seems to offer that yet.

  • gherea

    ICS on the transformer Prime looks amazing

  • tkimball

    WOW I can’t wait for it to show up at stores I’ll be on that as soon as I see it